Say hi to Saya, a robot teacher

20th March 2009 at 00:00

Her social skills are undeveloped, but boffins in Japan are pinning the hopes of future generations on a robot teacher called Saya.

Saya, the "Japan Teacher Robot", was created by science professor Hiroshi Kobayashi after 15 years of research at the University of Tokyo.

She was originally created to replace receptionists but is now being trialled at a Japanese primary school. The humanoid has 18 different motors behind a latex face, which are designed to simulate typical expressions.

Japanese teachers need not fear for their jobs, however. Currently Saya can pretty much only take the register, get angry and shout "be quiet". She also still has someway to go to eclipse the feats of another Japanese humanoid - the famous Asimo robot from the Honda ads - that can perform exercise routines, run and even climb stairs.

But with the Japanese government spending Pounds 23million on robotic intelligence by 2015, Saya could soon be teaching times tables at a school near you.

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today